Commerce secretary says US wants to work with China

3 weeks ago 49

[1/3]U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng head to their seats for a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Tuesday, August, 29, 2023. Andy Wong/Pool via REUTERS/ Acquire Licensing Rights

BEIJING, Aug 29 (Reuters) - The United States wants to work with China to solve problems such as climate change and artificial intelligence, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told China's Premier Li Qiang at a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday.

Raimundo is the latest Biden administration official to visit China in a bid to strengthen communications, particularly on economy and defense, amid concerns that friction between the two superpowers could spiral out of control.

"There are other areas of global concern, such as climate change, artificial intelligence, the fentanyl crisis, where we want to work with you as two global powers to do what's right for all of humanity," Raimondo said at the Great Hall of the People.

Li said sound economic relations and trade cooperation would be beneficial not only to their countries but also to the whole world.

The United States and China used to be each other's largest trading partners but Washington now trades more with neighbours Canada and Mexico, while Beijing deals more with Southeast Asia.

Earlier on Tuesday, Raimondo told China's economy tsar He Lifeng that the U.S. does not seek to disengage from its rival.

"While we will never compromise in protecting our national security, I want to be clear that we will never seek to decouple or hold China's economy back," she said.

Prior to her meeting with He, Raimondo and Tourism Minister Hu Hepin agreed to hold the 14th China-U.S. Tourism Leadership Summit in China in the first half of next year, a sign that improving people-to-people ties is important to putting a floor under the bilateral relationship.

The step aimed to revive and develop tourism co-operation between the two nations, the Commerce Department said. The last such summit was held in 2019 in Seattle.

Raimondo has made boosting travel and tourism a big part of her trip. China and the United States agreed this month to double the number of flights permitted between them, which are still only a fraction of the number before the pandemic.

If China returned to 2019 U.S. tourism levels, that would add $30 billion to the U.S. economy and 50,000 U.S. jobs, Raimondo said.

Raimondo plans a visit on Wednesday to Shanghai Disneyland, a joint venture of Walt Disney (DIS.N) and Chinese state-owned Shendi Group.

U.S. firms have reported growing challenges with operating in China, which has sharply criticized U.S. efforts to block its access to advanced semiconductors.

The first meeting of an initiative to exchange information on export control enforcement was held on Tuesday at the commerce ministry in Beijing, led by Matthew Axelrod, U.S. assistant secretary for export enforcement.

Such an exchange offered a platform to reduce misunderstandings of U.S. national security policies, Raimondo said on Monday but she added that Washington would not compromise or negotiate on such matters.

Raimondo said on Monday she had raised concerns about curbs on chipmakers Intel and Micron in more than four hours of talks on economic and trade issues with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on a range of U.S. business issues.

China said the talks were a "rational, candid and constructive communication".

Reporting by David Shepardson; Additional reporting by Joe Cash; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Angus MacSwan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Read Entire Article